Bollinger Shipyards Lockport 20-year ftz success story
Chris Remont, Vice-President of Government Programs at Bollinger Shipyards Lockport New Construction, takes pride in all of the company’s past construction projects, but especially in the 26 cutter vessels that Bollinger has built on site and delivered to the Coast Guard’s Fast Response Cutter (FRC) program.
“The Coast Guard FRC is a program which has proven to protect our country’s interests and our shorelines while also providing safety rescue missions, drug interdiction and humanitarian aid as seen recently in hurricane-impacted areas this year,” Remont said. “These boats have exceeded expectations in living up to the Coast Guard Sentinel Heroes legacies for which they are each named.”
Located on Highway 308 South, Bollinger manufactures and repairs vessels for both government and commercial customers in their indoor fabrication shop area, that has a total of 629,000 square feet, with full overhead crane support and a variety of production support services.
The Bollinger Shipyards Lockport New Construction facility is the hub of the company’s corporate, engineering, government programs and quality management systems.
The facility has delivered USCG Patrol Boats, Navy Patrol Craft, oceangoing tugs, docking tugs, offshore supply vessels, lift boats, Derrick Barges, deck barges and multi-purpose support vessels.
Bollinger has performed government program builds for the Coast Guard, Navy, Army, Department of Transportation and Department of Defense and also serves a number of commercial clients.
A major benefit to the site is its designation as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). The company received its designation in 1998 when the Port of South Louisiana sponsored their FTZ application to become the Port’s eighth subzone under FTZ 124, which has allowed the company to serve important government clients.
“We were approved during the early stages of the U.S. Coast Guard Coastal Patrol Boat Program,” Remont said. “Being in a Foreign Trade Zone, Bollinger is able to utilize resources globally to meet program requirements, such as on the U.S. Coast Guard FRC program.”
The FTZ allows imported material being used in the construction of government vessels approved for duty-free importing.
“Having the FTZ assists us in maintaining consistency in documentation, which thereby improves efficiencies of obtaining the material from the port of entry,” Remont said.
Bollinger employees have the knowledge and expertise to track FTZ material throughout the warehousing and construction of vessels onsite. Materials are cleared from the zone upon delivery of the vessels to the Coast Guard or into market.
While duty-free importing saves costs to government clients, it can be extended to some of Bollinger’s commercial customers, Remont said.
“Imported goods that are not approved for duty-free entry, based on material, cost or programs, can be brought into the FTZ zone and have the duty fees deferred until the material is released from the FTZ,” Remont said. “Bollinger facilities control all the logistic costs of moving material. The FTZ allows Bollinger the ability to claim and track materials onsite instead of at the port of entry.”
Bollinger’s frequent use of the FTZ site and familiarity with its regulations improves efficiency and ensures all materials and documentation are handled properly onsite, Remont said.
“Bollinger has seen growth in the use of the FTZ zones over the last five years based on the current Coast Guard FRC program and materials used in the construction process,” Remont said.
The most recent delivery of a First Response Cutter was on Nov. 9, 2017. The Coast Guard took delivery of the 154-foot patrol boat USCGC Joseph in Key West, Florida and the vessel’s commissioning is scheduled for March 2018 in Hawaii.
“We are extremely proud that the Fast Response Cutters built by Louisiana craftsmen here at Bollinger Shipyards are having such a major impact on our country’s safety and security,” said Ben Bordelon, Bollinger President and C.E.O. in a news release. “This FRC built by Bollinger Shipyards will be the second FRC to be stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii. Previous cutters have been stationed in Florida, San Juan, PR, Cape May, NJ, Ketchikan, Alaska, and Pascagoula, Mississippi.”
To build these vessels, Bollinger uses a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. Vessels have a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology and a stern launch system.
In addition to its FTZ designation, Bollinger offers additional benefits to its clients, including a commitment to continuous quality improvement.
Bollinger New Construction has made significant shipyard capital improvements in production facilities, machine tool technology and production processes.
Recent improvements include updates to its shipyard wide lean manufacturing processes, a new 200-ton LiftKing module transporter, new 12,000-square-foot aluminum fabrication shop, new CNC pipe bending machine capable of producing up to four-inch diameter pipe spools and new CNC steel shapes cutting capabilities.
New production facilities have been built with brand new purpose-built work platforms with point of use material and warehousing to improve worker access to vessels in production. The main production building warehouse, craft shops and production offices are accessed via a paved roadway.
New waterfront services include increased available power, welding gases, potable water, fire main and LAN access.
“The Bollinger level and expectation of quality, as detailed in the Bollinger Quality Policy, ensures Bollinger delivers the best quality product to our customers, meeting and exceeding customer expectations,” Remont said.
By Jenny Peterson